Staging allows the home to be presented as a canvas and allows the buyer to paint a picture for them; visualizing what space will look like if they moved in with their items. But that does not mean showing an empty home; rather staging accentuates spaces within the home by creating vignettes, which enhance positive space while downplaying negative areas within the house.
In order to create the staging scene, understand that for the next 30-90 days, while the house is for sale, you will need to have removed personal items, collections, and clutter, (and keep them ‘gone’ until you have a signed contract). Your home may lose its personal style and warmth, but that will be one of the small sacrifices you will need to make to maximize profit from the sale of your house.
Staging Your Home
If you stage your home for sale on your own, here are 10 easy tips to remember:
1) Make a list of all the spaces, choose one room at a time, and tackle each individually. You will be overwhelmed if you choose to do ‘the whole house’ in one afternoon. Start with the bathroom(s) and the kitchen and then move to the common rooms and finally the bedrooms. Basements, hallways, and attics are last. Check off each room on your list as you go helping to make you feel as if you have made some accomplishment.
2) Evaluate the colors of each room individually. Pastel colors do not sell well. Baby blue and princess pink are often gender-inspired colors, which are a huge turn-off for potential buyers. Even if the buyers have children and will use the baby blue room for their own baby, they may or may not like that particular shade or, in fact, may wish to use yellow or green.
3) Go to your neighborhood grocery store and ask them for empty boxes from produce as these usually have side cut-outs for easy grabbing. Start storing empty boxes in a place for easy access a few weeks before you begin to stage. You will need the boxes and having them handy will keep the packing momentum moving along.
4) As you go from room to room, remove family pictures from the walls and replace them with used art from a thrift store or simply purchase framed prints from a local dollar store. Pack away all collections including children’s Hot Wheels, baseball cap collections, and any other really personal collections you and your family may be fond of.
5) Consider at this point whether you will need to rent storage space or whether a neighbor or a friend will allow you to store these items in their home as filled boxes will accumulate quickly. A new storage idea has streamlined storage space in recent years, whereas you rent a container or a pod and store the items in this portable space for as long as you need to. Also, do not consider storing any packed items in a spare bedroom or in the basement of your own home as you would simply be decluttering one room and cluttering another. All rooms should be clear of storage boxes, after all, you are selling a home and not a storage space.
6) Clean, clean, clean….particularly bathrooms and kitchens. No home will sell especially well with grit, mold, dirty tiles, and floors. For as much as you will stage each room, the buyers’ eyes will focus on the dirt and not on the hard work you put into staging. People remember dirt and grime and it would only remind them how much more work they would have to do when they moved in themselves.
7) Buyers make a determination of a home within about 20 seconds of walking through the front door. Make that experience memorable within that short period of time. If you have an entryway, set up a table, with flowers, a small attractive bowl of expensive mints, and add some potpourri somewhere in the area. Scented candles offer a nice smell when you first walk in.
8) Go from room-to-room and pack- up clutter. Leave a small basket under the counter or in a closet with items you will need to use while you are still living there. The only items on a bathroom counter should be a small bouquet of flowers, a bar of clean decorative soap in a clean soap dish, and a clean hand towel. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving cream, medications, and hair products should all be packed away under the counters or in places, which are not noticeable.
9) Go to the supermarket and purchase an inexpensive bouquet of either daisies or carnations. You get many more flowers to work within these arrangements than you would if you opted to spend money on roses or more expensive flowers. Use these arrangements randomly around the home but be sure to place at least one in each room. Change flowers as needed but the daisies and carnations seem to last a long time even if you forget to add more water! Dying flowers MUST be thrown out immediately; they make a bad impression on visitors to your home.
10) Move out the bulky furniture and create little seating venues in your home with small tables and chairs. For example, you normally have a large sectional in your TV room with a cocktail table and two side tables…however, you may also have a large window facing the backyard that is blocked by the sectional. Remove pieces of the sectional to make space appear larger. Place the cocktail table and one end table near the sectional. Find two chairs, which do not always have to match, and place the other end table in front of the window with the 2nd end table in between the chairs. Add your bouquet of flowers, a small lamp and you have another seating area in the room. Pull your curtains away from the window, tie back with decorative rope or ribbon, and let the light shine in the room. Find two pillows that DO match and place them on the chairs in front of the window to tie the room together.
Decorating your home to be sold does not have to be a complicated process, especially if you choose to do it yourself. Making this a quick and easy process can save you time in the future and let you focus on more important things. Selling your home can be quite a time consuming, but well worth it in the end.